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The Problems With The Middle East

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posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 11:07 AM
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It seems no other region is in the headlines or nightly news programs as much as the Middle East. It is the crucible of civilization, and of religion. It is World's largest fossil fuel deposit, and recently it has become the flashpoint of a World wide conflagration.

One just has to look at any country in the Middle East and their troubles and strife are apparent.

Egypt: Decades of political oppression and a tenuous alliance with the United States. Birth place of the Muslim Brotherhood, an umbrella group for most Islamic militant groups.

Sudan: Scene of the World's most recent genocide. A brewing storm on the horizon as UN troops are poised to enter the country by force if necessary.

Ethiopia: A country brought to the World's attention in the 1980's due to endemic starvation. This once starving country fought a protracted war against its miniscule neighbour - Eritrea.

Eritrea: Just over a decade old, the tiny nation state of Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting Sudanese rebels. This young country of 4.5 million people could be swallowed up by any number of its larger neighbours.

Somalia: Yet another starving nation on the Horn of Africa. The warlords of this nation apparently brought the United States military to its knees. The warlords calculated correctly that the American public did not have an appetite for war in their post-Cold War bubble.

Djibouti: A one party dominated authoritarian dictatorship until as recently as 1999. The old French colonial territory is home to the only US base in sub-Saharan Africa. This nation of less than half a million people is one of the major assets in the War on Terror. Potentially a flash point in the ever widening global conflagration.

Yemen: A nation founded from two states in 1990, it was the scene of the USS Cole bombing terrorist attack. This Islamic nation produces a large number of Islamic terrorists.

Oman: Quite possibly the most peaceful nation in the Middle East. A sultanate, Oman maintains a close military and political relationship with the UK.

United Arab Emirates: Most recently the UAE has come to the fore because of the hotly disputed take-over-bid of British firm P&O. The deal would place the UAE in control of 6 major American ports, including ports across the Globe. The UAE is a key American ally in the War on Terror. The major ongoing dispute concerning the UAE is with Iran's occupation of it's northern islands.

Saudi Arabia: The birth place of Wahabi Islam, Saudi Arabia is also the birth place of Osama Bin Laden. The nation enjoys extremely close ties with the United States, and in particular the Bush family. The Saudi's are fighting an internal struggle against Islamic militants who protest the presence of Americans in the Middle East.

Jordan: Jordan holds the largest border with Israel and in 1994 signed a peace treaty with the Jewish state. Home to over 1.7 million Palestinian refugees, Jordan holds a large stake in the Mid-East peace process. Jordan was a member of the pan-Arab forces that attacked Israel in 1967.

Israel: Quite arguably the focus point of Western interest in the entirety of Middle Eastern conflict. The partition of the Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states was created by a UN assembly vote in 1947. A negotiated peace treaty between Israel and the rest of the Middle East, including the creation of Palestine, would be the single biggest blow to militant Islam.

Iraq: The once US-backed nation of Iraq fought a protracted war against Iran in the late 1980's. It's long-time dictator, Saddam Hussein, was deposed in an American-led invasion force in 2003. The nation now stands on the precipice of civil war as Sunni and Shiah muslims vie for control of the fledgling Iraqi government. Second only to Israel as the biggest source of Islamic militant anger.

Syria: Syria was recently forced to remove its stranglehold over Lebanese government and security. Syria moved into Lebanon in 1976 to prevent Palestinian forces from overthrowing the Maronites. Syrian officials have been accused of assassinating the popular ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Syria has signed a mutual defence pact with Iran.

Lebanon: The scene of much conflict in the latter decades of the 20th century. Lebanon was twice invaded by Israel who were aiming to remove the PLO's presence in the fractured nation. Syria held sway in Lebanon until 2005 via its domination of Lebanese puppet governments loyal to Syria.

Iran: Animosity between Iran and the United States harks back to the Iranian revolution and the American support for the deposed Shah (king) of Iran. America's denial of Iranian requests to hand over the Shah who fled there sparked the Iranian Embassy hostage crisis.

Another hostage crisis tied to Iran, this time in Lebanon, nearly brought about the collapse of the Reagan Administration. The Iran-Contra affair had the Reagan administration selling arms to Iran to secure the release of American hostages. However the sales of weapons to Iran began before the hostages were taken and continued until after their release.

Iran has come to the fore recently due to its nuclear enrichment programme. The process of nuclear fuel enrichment is expressly provided for under the NPT, which it signed, but due to the history of animosity between the US and Iran the United States protests this nuclear enrichment. The United States asserts that the Iranians are aiming for nuclear weapons and that they should not be allowed to enrich uranium.

Turkey: The only muslim nation to be included in the EU if accession talks are successful. Turkey is held up by the West as the role model for how muslim nations should be run. A prosperous nation with a secular government, Turkey is the darling of Europe. Turkey however is fighting against Kurdish militants who are seeking to create a Kurdish state which would span Turkish and Iraqi territory. This rebel presence was the main opposition point of Turkish involvement in the 2003 Iraq invasion.

The interplay between the nations of the Middle East has far reaching consequences. One only has to look at the effects the Iranian oil shock had on World markets. Or take the War on Terror and how it affects the very principles of the democratic nations of the World.

It is my hope that this thread can include a wide ranging discourse of how these nations problems are intertwined with one another, including the West which seeks to quell these long standing problems. Have at it


[edit on 5/3/06 by subz]




posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 11:14 AM
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Wow! Subz, I think what you have created herer is a thread that is so diverse that any topic of the Mideast can be discussed here, and in a manner which makes room for some cross-discussions.

When folks want to go off on a side bar in another thread, they can easily make mention of that, link to this threadand then come here and state their thoughts.

Excellent job!



posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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The problem is Totalitarianism. It's this way or nothing. These countries can not agree on a system because to be a true Muslim you have to lead Muslim law. Why does Hammas not regcognise Isreal? Okay give Hammas Isreal and I doubt any Jews who have a right or any Christians be tollerated under their system of belief.

There is no middle ground in these places. That is where democracy helps in the short term untill it fills with seperate groups that try and tare democracy down again or societies start urban wars like terrorism.
Democracy is great untill it lets the whole world in and it can not deal with the problems of the differences. That is when democracy becomes big brother like and we lose our freedoms to form a new beast to control it all.

[edit on 5-3-2006 by The time lord]



posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 11:29 AM
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Damn I wrote something that was a mistake and now have an empty space as my reply. I know I have to write something but have no other comments. But yes maybe one this is needed leave each other alone. Let them do what they want and let us do what we want and both apply double standards. If 5million muslims land in Europe then 5 million Europeans have spaces to go to their countries if the balance is wrong no one wants to go from Europe to these countries then we should think about making Euro babies and support the family with the extra child. Not sure if it sounds right but double standards are needed and someone is getting it wrong.

[edit on 5-3-2006 by The time lord]



posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
Wow! Subz, I think what you have created herer is a thread that is so diverse that any topic of the Mideast can be discussed here, and in a manner which makes room for some cross-discussions.

When folks want to go off on a side bar in another thread, they can easily make mention of that, link to this threadand then come here and state their thoughts.

Excellent job!

Thanks TC and thanks for the sticky



Originally posted by The time lord
The problem is Totalitarianism. It's this way or nothing. These countries can not agree on a system because to be a true Muslim you have to lead Muslim law. Why does Hammas not regcognise Isreal? Okay give Hammas Isreal and I doubt any Jews who have a right or any Christians be tollerated under their system of belief.

You're right. Instead of forcing democracy on the region, which blew up in our faces when Hamas was democratically elected. We should be forcing the muslim equivalent of the enlightenment. Instead of aiming our resources at fostering democracy we should of lent our support for moderate muslims et al. If a group of moderate muslims exist, even though they are not quite ready to embrace democracy, we should fund, engage with and exemplify them.

In the example of Europe (and the West), the enlightenment paved the way for our democratic form of government. Enlightened Europe was still run by monarchies for hundreds of years. This was not necessarily a bad thing, infact I'd argue that a dominant authouritarianism was essential to the creation of our fundamental Western way of life. If we had democracies from the start we would of fractured into thousands of mini-nation states due to the inevitably wide range of beliefs and ethnic divisions held amongst our populations.

Monarchies bound nations together long enough that an established, and universal, set of principles could be established. Britain is the epitome of this. Britain gave us parliament and common law.

Now compare this to the contemporary Middle East. We are foisting democracy on a population who by and large does not know its true meaning. Islam has not changed since it inception nearly 1,500 years ago. How would giving a voice to people who hold practically archaic civil beliefs benefit the region in a way we would like? It cant. Without moderate and enlightend leaders with gauranteed power the Middle East has no chance of emulating the principles held by the West. It's not even a desire of the majority of those in the Middle East.

As much as it is anathema to our Western principles, the Middle East needs benevolent monarchies more than dictatorial strong men or democracies.

Is it merely a coincidence that the two most peaceful nations in the Middle East are Oman and Jordan? Both monarchies.

[edit on 5/3/06 by subz]



posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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I had typed a brilliant post when my internet connectivity went down, so I'm gonna just give Brilliance Lite so as to save the fingers.

Democracy is not the answer for all that ails the world. As a matter of fact, I see it as simply the stepping stone to tyranny, NWO style.

Oman, for example, is an authoritarian monarchy still, isn't it? Neither the people or the ruler is a militant, and the nation is protected from militant ideology. They enjoy the 20th century life without losing their Islamic identity.

I don't know about how welcome Jews and Christians are, I'll do some reading and find out.

EDIT: Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu

This is what the CIA factbook says asfar as their religion, but that does not mean that others are persecuted.

[edit on 5-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]



posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 12:09 PM
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www.persecution.org...
While it paints a strict and controlling picture, Oman is still a Muslim state and this should be expected as Islam doesn't accomodate the spreading of other religions.

As far as Jews, I can't find evidence of a Jewish community in Oman, and this was found in an Omani paper back in April:

"Some people like to eat their unleavened bread with fruit juice and others prefer cream or cocoa, but there are yet others who like their matzos baked with human blood. Especially Christian blood. These are our Jewish cousins, who inherited this bizarre pagan practice with a great deal of other nonsense from their Talmud and so-called Holy books. The so-called religious motive for all this is clearly evident in rabbinical teachings: eating Jewish unleavened bread baked with Christian blood is the shortest way to regain vim and vigour, as well as ensuring revived sexual prowess for old men in their conjugal relations. "

Why this would be printed is beyond me, but still, I find no evidence of any human rights violations above and beyond the strict control of Christians.



posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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We should start by not trading with people who are against us if they grow too big for their boots. That way their populations will shrink their immigrations will not affect us and they can have enough for them selves. If like Iran you give the blue print of the Western scientific Knowledge who knows how it could be used against us. Let them sort them selves out if we are so different to them then leave them alone. If we hand them over a gun like to an ignorant baby it may injure it self or brother (neighbouring country) or grow up to want to shoot us (the West).
They are bombaholics and maybe like Iran these people are not worth giving certain knowledge to. Even if means them having a better life so we can be pretected.


[edit on 5-3-2006 by The time lord]



posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 12:21 PM
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In regard to HiddenReality's assertion that the Jews killed an Islamic prophet, I assume he is referring to Jesus, this not true.
The Pharasees tried on numerous occasions to move against Christ but could not because the Jewish people would have ripped them to shreds. The Jews did not kill Christ. The chief priests made false charges, and a stacked deck made sure that Pilate crucified Christ rather than Barabbas.

Keeping in mind that the Romans were ruling the region at the time, and considering that the religious leaders were leaders because they were allowed to be by the Roman government and because they insured that on that day Barabbas would be released by stacking the crowd, and keeping in mind that until they positioned themselves where they could use the Roman court couldn't touch him for fear of their lives being taken by the Jewish people, it is clear this is incorrect.

If one were to read the Gospels, one would see that this is a lie that is used cause people ignorant of the accounts of Jesus' life to hate the Jews. If one were to read the Gospels, one would clearly see that it was not the Jews who rejected Jesus, but the other way around. This was for very good reason for the rest of the world, and this reason could be better discussed in religion. What is important is that it was not the Jewish community that crucified Jesus.

More information:
www.crosstalk.org...

The Jews did not kill Christ because the Jews could not kill Christ. They did not have legal authority in matters of capital crimes under Roman law at that time.
The Jews were a diverse group of 4,500,000 people spread out over many nations of the world. They could not collectively make a single matzah ball or take any solitary decisive action for which all could take credit or all share blame.
The Jews did not have power over God. The death of Christ was according to God’s sovereign will according to the Scriptures.
The Jews did not have control over a decision that belonged to Jesus. Jesus laid His life down. Nobody took it from Him. It would be wrong to depreciate His love by suggesting that the Jewish people, or other groups of people were responsible for our eternal salvation. After all, that is what Christ purchased through His death.



[edit on 8-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]



posted on Mar, 11 2006 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by subz
It seems no other region is in the headlines or nightly news programs as much as the Middle East. It is the crucible of civilization, and of religion. It is World's largest fossil fuel deposit, and recently it has become the flashpoint of a World wide conflagration.

One just has to look at any country in the Middle East and their troubles and strife are apparent.


It is my hope that this thread can include a wide ranging discourse of how these nations problems are intertwined with one another, including the West which seeks to quell these long standing problems. Have at it


[edit on 5/3/06 by subz]


Have you thought for once )Maybe ur the problem.
Why don't you just look around and fix the mistakes in urself because i promise you-You have manys! Problems that you do not see. and stop judging a whole country by one simple mistake that they made. The issue now is The U.S Gov. NOT THE MIDDLE EAST. They burn up the country then start to discuss that they fought against each other. The problem is seen in yourseleves but sadly you don't see it because the truth hurts .

Thomas Crowne - Please stop correcting people's beliefs. I promise -It won't work but gets u in lots of problems.

[edit on 11-3-2006 by MsPalestinian08]

Huge quote edited

[edit on 12-3-2006 by Thomas Crowne]



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 12:32 AM
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MsPalestinian08, assumptions based on face value are hardly ever accurate. You can be forgiven, from reading this thread, of believing that I blame the Middle East's problems completely on the Middle East. But if you'd read my other posts on the subject you'd see that is not the case.

I do attribute blame for the Middle East's problems to mainly Britain and the United States. Infact, amongst other things, I've been called anti-American and anti-Semitic more times than I can count. Both accusations are false, but the fact stands, I dont buy into the whole "its completely the Middle East's fault" mindset.

I wrote this thread so that a general discussion of Middle Eastern affairs could be discussed without fear of going off topic. It wasn't meant to be a general swipe at the region. Have a look at my other posts, here are a couple of Op/Ed pieces I wrote on the subject.

OP/ED: Target America: Iran And Its Parallels With 1930's Japan
OP/ED: The Truth Behind Israel's Wars: The Sharett Diaries



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 12:54 AM
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Please, do not tell me to not do what you do.
You make statements without backing them up with any fact, claim I am lying and then tell me not to correct a belief?

A prime example is that you blame all ht eowes on the U.S., and wash the Arabs of any responsibility. Again, based on no fact, and totally ignoring otehr clear realities.

Subz, there is no doubt that the U.S. has caused some woes in the region, and due to patches of directionless foreign policy years, we have reaped what the wind sowed for us. It is to late to reverse history, but it isn't too late to face facts. From what I have heard coming from the government, though, the facts are still being ignored.

Politicians are greedy cowards.



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 12:57 AM
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Great thread subz


I have a question what country do people think is doing the best in the Middle East. Leading by example can indeed work if people see one country living in peace and prosperity its not unheard of for others to follow that lead.

Right now IMHO that would be Jordan. Sure they made mistakes in the past but everyone has. I actually like King Abdullah II seems to have a honest desire to have peace. His father tried to warn Israel of the comming Egyptian in 1973 in hopes to prevent a war he didnt want his country getting drawn into. Hussein flew to Tel Aviv the day before the Yom Kippur War in secret to warn them but they didnt listen to him. Jordan has taken in Palestinian refugees


He is IMHO is one of the new generation of Arab leaders or at least what they should be. Hes also working without huge resources of oil or any natural resource and the money that brings in. And lets face it none of them have oil reserves thats going to last forever. The UAE aint sinking all that money into Dubai to turn it into a tourist mecca for nothing.



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 01:22 AM
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Hi subz,

Good thread, and like TC says, a great catch-all. Good concise overview of all the relevant countries too


Like you I agree that a lot of todays' current probs can be attributed to UK and US policies and attitudes. I'm from the UK by the way.




posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 10:14 AM
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Shadow, UAE does not recognize Israel and strongly supports Hamas, who calls for the destruction of Israel.
Tourism doesn't preclude anything else.

Syria threw 1,400 tanks against 180 Israeli tanks in the Golan Heights, and Egypt swarmed at Israel with 80,000 troops against Israel's 500. This attack was initiated on the Yom Kippur, the holiest day for the JEws, as the Arabs knew that the Jews' belief in G-d and their drive to keepthe day holy would have them in the synagogues and not on alert.

As far as Hussein's innocence, while he might have known the least, the loaning of his two best amored brigades to Syria would not indicate that he was a pursuer of peace. Especially, as I am sure you are aware, armies are not made for war in a day, and waiting for the last day to fly to Israel to pursue peace was nothing more than the typical - accept Allah and become Muslim, accept Dhimmi status or accept defeat. Otherwise, the intelligent chase for peace would have been to dissuade the attackers from their war-making.



posted on Mar, 12 2006 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
As far as Hussein's innocence, while he might have known the least, the loaning of his two best amored brigades to Syria would not indicate that he was a pursuer of peace. .


I didnt know about the two armored brigades from Jordan thats news to me.

That sheds some new light on Hussein's actions. I really thought him secretly trying to warn Israel was a real sign of not wanting a war. These two vastly different actions are a confusing strategy I dont pretend to full understand, I have to look more into this.



posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 06:57 PM
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Turkey: The only muslim nation to be included in the EU if accession talks are successful. Turkey is held up by the West as the role model for how muslim nations should be run. A prosperous nation with a secular government, Turkey is the darling of Europe. Turkey however is fighting against Kurdish militants who are seeking to create a Kurdish state which would span Turkish and Iraqi territory. This rebel presence was the main opposition point of Turkish involvement in the 2003 Iraq invasion.


I am sorry to say this, but you couldn't be more far off for Turkey than this.

Turkey is not a "prosperous nation" by any means; most people are really poor and live in 18th century conditions, even in Instanbul.

There is no such thing as "freedom of speech", as the military simply hunts down and imprisons every opposing voice. There are white cells in Turkish prisons, which are banned by international treaty.

Women are in the same bad situation as in other islamic countries, with no real rights whatsoever: recently a young woman has been murdered by her father for having a relationship with a young man, her father didn't even gone to a trial. Throwing stones to naked women who dared cast their eyes upon other men is the usual practice.

People are so uneducated that in the recent flu problem, they denied help from doctors and to kill their chicken because "Allah would save them", despite 3 children dying in their village.

Turkey is not the darling of Europe whatsoever; actually no one wants Turks in the EU, because their minds are still in the Otthoman empire.

Kurds are not terrorists, but a separate nation living under oppression for many moons. They may have act in a terrorist way, but they are a separate nation being oppressed.

Turkey has illegally invaded Cyprus in 1974 and still occupies half the island, having killed 1000s of Greek Cypriots, and moving many thousand Turks from the mainland to Cyprus.

Turkey has the largest military budget in the area, while its people are starving.

Turkey had 5 military dictatorships or attempts to seize power from the legal government in the last 20 years.



posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 03:40 AM
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Masterp, of course you are quite right. I wrote that post far too quickly in hindsight and there are a couple of things I should of wrote better. The Turkey write up was one of them.

What I meant, and should of wrote, is that Turkey is the darling for the political elite in the EU bureaucracy. They would love nothing more than to integrate Turkey into the EU fold. A large supply of cheap labour and a significant overture to the Middle East. To sucessfully incorporate Turkey into the EU would be a coup for the EU bureaucrats.

I am an Englishman living in Australia but spent most of 2005 in England. I heard news report after news report of how skeptical the European people were about including Turkey in any accession talks. The human rights issues were being addressed with a complete revision of Turkish law to gel with European law. Their economy is obviously prosperous or they would not be eligible for EU membership. What I wrote did not indicate wealth distribution, which is obviously a high Gini coefficient but regardless they are rich enough for EU membership on a whole.

Thanks for the critique, it deserved to be picked apart TBH. Sloppy job on my part.

[edit on 14/3/06 by subz]



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 06:59 AM
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Nothing new here.

Read memoirs of TE Lawrence and how English government sold Arabs out to the Zionists, which to this day is the main and ONLY reason for the continues "problems" in the middle East.

It's the reason the Grand Mufti allied with Hitler.

When you rally the people, ask them to fight and die on your behalf just to sell them out by giving their land to invaders, "problems" (war) will never end until the wrong is writhed.

The real problem with middle east is Zionism, especially considering that Israel is the all time leader on the list of Human Rights abuses.

Don't take my word for it, look it up.



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 07:31 AM
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I think Zionism is the root cause as well Iskander. But why would there have to be anything "new" in discussing a historical problem? I dont get where you are coming from in your tone, or message.






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